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Love - the little engine that could

Why do we do things? Anything at all. Neitzke says everything that is done, is done because of love.
Why do we eat? because we love ourselves. Why do we listen to music? because we love the sound of it.
Why do we get married? because we love someone.

Now I don't agree with Neitzke on everything, (in fact hardly anything at all) but why did you become a Christian?

Some people do it so they can live forever and never have to die.
Some people do it so they they won't burn in hell.
Some people do it because they need hope in something.
... and some people... well they says it's because of love. Love of what/who?

The reason above would indicate they love themselves and don't want to die/burn/hurt whatever the reason.

Now those may be OK reasons to get saved initially ... but OK you have been saved for a little while.
Why do you continue on being a Christian? Is it still because you love yourself, or it is because... you love God/Jesus?

I loved my wife before I married her. When we first got married I did somethings that she didn't really like, some of them even hurt her. (I didn't do them on purpose to hurt her). I have to admit it was partially for selfish reasons, I didn't want to be alone, I wanted someone to be intimate with, I wanted a friend.
And maybe those are OK reasons to get married. But now we have been married for a quite a while.
Now I know the things she doesn't like. I know the things that hurt her. I have quit doing those things.
I'm not perfect, but for the most part I can truly say I don't do anything on purpose that hurts her.

I've had to make some changes, I've had to make some compromises. But she is worth it to me.
I have noticed... she has made some changes and compromises herself... for me...
apparently she thinks I'm worth it :)

So why do people stay married? ( I know, it seems many do not )
Hopefully the love has shifted from themselves... to their spouses. At some point your spouse
should matter more to you, than you yourself matter. At some point, you might be willing to
die for them if you had to. If two people didn't have enough of something, say food...
one might sacrifice their hunger so that their spouse could eat. One might sacrifice a coat
so that the other one could be warm.

Back to the original question... why are you a Christian?
Someone made a sacrifice for you. He loved you that much. He even died for you.
He gave up all the wonders of heaven to come to this dirty evil earth to save you.
Do you love Him back?

Some people never really learn to love their spouses. They are too busy loving themselves.
They "have" to wash the dishes. They "have" to take out the trash. The "have" to take time from
their busy schedules to do something for their wife or husbands. These people are easy to spot.

Some couple never complain about doing things for their spouses. In fact they enjoy doing them
because it's a chance to show their spouses that they love them. There is an old saying that says
actions speak louder than words. You can tell someone you love them thousands of times, but
if you never show them... what good are only words? Words aren't bad. I tell my wife I love her,
but words only go so far, for so long. Eventually I need to buy her flowers or candy. By her an
anniversary card. Rub her back. Take her out for dinner. ... or even.. take out the trash or do the
dishes. In fact, it's those things that are specifically for her that show her I love her the most.
Going out for dinner is fine, but that's kind of for both of us. Even flowers are candy are nice,
but that didn't really take much effort on my part. Mowing the grass, taking out the trash,
those are things that take a little effort. She sees it and she loves me for it.

I try to do the same when she does things for me. I try to tell her I appreciate her and the things she does,

Now there is a lot of focus these days on legalism.. and the law... and grace... and all those things
are things we need to know about. It may be that we aren't under the penalty of the law anymore,
and that's great.

But what are you doing to show Jesus you love Him? I may not have to make animal sacrifices anymore,
I may not have to go confess to priests anymore, (all because of Jesus). He loved me enough to do that
for me. To be beaten, whipped, and nailed to a cross for me.

So instead of thinking to ourselves.. I don't "have" to do this.. or I don't "have" to do that..
well maybe not. Maybe your salvation doesn't depend on it. But how about just doing it because you
love Him? How about doing those things, just because He asked us to. Do you love Him that much?

If you are still loving yourself.. (your flesh) more than you love Him.. have you really changed at all?
It took me a couple of years to get to this point with my wife. Maybe new Christians don't have it all
figured out. maybe they became a Christian for another reason. But for those of us that have been
Christians a while, what is our excuse?

If we do things because of love... who are you loving the most? Yourself or Jesus?
Instead of focusing on legalism and what I "Have" to do for Him... what about what I
can do just to show Him I love Him.

Some people honor Jesus with lip service. But their hearts are far away from Him. Where is your heart?